Workforce Development Strategies Meet New Demands

A man and a woman talking together outside of Maine Medical Center

Lovelie Cajuste, Environmental Services Operations Manager, met with Francois Rutayisire ahead of his work shift in front of Maine Medical Center’s main entrance. She was a career coach and advocate for Francois to learn new skills to grow in his position.

Career coaching opens doors at MaineHealth and beyond

The health care workforce is evolving, thanks to the same gravitational forces that are affecting our industry and the economy at large — technological advances, competitive market forces, shifting imperatives that demand new skill sets and challenges with job satisfaction and burnout. MaineHealth supports, strengthens and creates opportunities for employment and growth by providing education, training and resources.

“By partnering with care team members on their professional growth and development, they can better thrive at their careers. We can support and retain them, and then ultimately, our efforts altogether support our communities and our patients,” said Jennifer O’Leary, Director, Workforce Development for MaineHealth. “We can utilize all of the great work going on within our communities.”

MaineHealth’s workforce-diversity efforts go beyond its own self-interest.

“Care team members join MaineHealth at different stages of their lives, and we have a responsibility to develop and support people so they can be the best they can be in their careers and with ample opportunities.”

– Jennifer O’Leary

However, some career dreams are locked or blocked because of barriers in language, knowledge or experience, according to Francois Rutayisire, who works on Maine Medical Center’s Environmental Services team. Francois took classes through the Portland Adult Education and English acquisition (or learning) programs connected through MaineHealth’s Workforce Development. MaineHealth also offers a digital language lab by partnering with the Immigrant Welcome Center of Greater Portland and EnGen for English-language (acquisition) courses.

“With career coaching and advising, I achieved one of my goals, and I was promoted as a lead,” added Francois. “Now, I think about what program I am going take next to achieve bigger dreams.’”

man wearing a mask standing next to a cart of cleaning equipment

Francois Rutayisire, a care team lead in Environmental Services, supports the housekeeping staff needed on all hospital floors and in the ER. He said the best part of his job is learning from his fellow care team members. He credits Workforce Development in opening doors to build his English-language and technology skills.

Lovelie Cajuste, who was recently promoted as a manager in Environmental Services Operations, was a career coach to Francois. “There is so much potential to help care team members grow,” she said. After coaching 60 colleagues last year, Lovelie explained that immigrant job seekers in Maine are often highly educated and professionally accomplished but language barriers can block upward mobility in the workplace.

According to a follow-up survey conducted after coaching sessions, care team members felt 100% more valued due to career coaching, and 100% found the sessions helpful in their careers.

Workforce Development

MaineHealth encourages motivated care team members to move upward within their current roles, or seek more skilled positions and to take advantage of in-house or community-based training programs for jobs, including certified nursing and medical assistants and careers in surgical technology.

We are committed to:

  • Care team support: career coaching, trainings, apprenticeships and pathways
  • Youth outreach: career awareness, expos, internships, pre-apprenticeships
  • Internal/external partner collaboration, such as Jobs for Maine Graduates

For more information please visit The MaineHealth Center for Workforce Development

3-sided design element: care team support, partner collaboration, youth outreach